If you’re wanting to go back into work after having a stroke, it’s important to take stock of what skills you have to find meaningful employment that keeps you engaged and motivated.
A stroke occurs when blood supply is cut off from the brain. Whether it is caused by a blocked or a burst artery, brain cells begin to die as a result, and depending on the severity as well as the speed of intervention, strokes affect everyone differently.
Effects can vary from weakness, fatigue, memory loss, coordination issues, and even language issues, all of which can affect one’s ability to work as they used to.
Below, 5 great steps to take when returning to work after a stroke:
Consider What Accommodations You May Need
It’s important to remember that a great number of people eventually return to work after having a stroke.
It depends on having the right care and support in order to be able to start working again, as well as being aware of the effects of the stroke, and how their recovery is progressing.
While some people can make a full recovery after a stroke, others can live with permanent side effects, which not only affect day-to-day life, but their ability to fulfill their previous role in the same capacity.
Recovery after a stroke can result in issues with:
- Balance, coordination and motor skills
- Speaking and language comprehension
- Fatigue and maintaining energy levels for extended periods
- and other side effects, which can differ from person to person.
It’s important to set realistic goals when planning to return to work, as well as how your working life may look life post-recovery. This can mean that you can return to your current job, or you may have to reassess your career.
Consult with An Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists are extremely important when it comes to your recovery plan.
They can help you better understand the limitations that you have, as well as the possibility of your recovery.
If you’re having concerns about your ability to perform tasks, an Occupational Therapist can help you develop and set achievable goals that you can work towards, so that you can return to work in your own time.
Reskill or Retrain to Fill a Different Position In Your Current Industry, or Find a New Industry
Sometimes, people are able to return to their job after having a stroke.
In general, this depends on the support and accommodations that the employer can offer, the job itself, as well as the individual’s level of recovery.
However, if you have suffered a stroke and can no longer perform your previous role as a result, you may still be able to return to your previous workplace but in a modified role.
Oftentimes, individuals who have had a stroke use it as an opportunity to reskill and retrain in order to apply for different roles within their industry.
Because they already possess substantial experience within the field, they are more likely to thrive in these roles once they are qualified.
However, some people may also take this as an opportunity to get qualified in an entirely different industry, changing careers in order to accommodate their requirements better.
Consider a Training or Teaching Role In Your Existing Industry
If you’ve got substantial experience in your existing industry, it may be worthwhile considering applying for a training or a teaching role in order to impart your knowledge and skills to those hoping to break into the industry.
Teaching roles can be highly flexible, and can be done with accommodation for your recovery, with text to speech technologies, online lectures on streaming and video sharing services, as well as ergonomic equipment to keep you comfortable.
Work with an Employment Consultant
Employment consultants from your local disability employment services providers can be a great support when trying to find work after having a stroke or finding jobs for people with a disability.
Meaningful long-term employment is possible, and with comprehensive support from an employment consultant, you’ll be able to find the right role for you. They can set you up with access to mental health support, funding for workplace modification, as well as assistance once you’ve acquired your new role.